Skip to main content

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 9, 2009 12:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did the Grateful Dead Like Their Live Albums?

Thanks for the comments -

Very interesting points, HeLives....blasphemous as it may be to say it, through the '70s I suspect the Dead really were looking for 'pop hits' as much as any band - hence all the work in the studio (especially '77-80), and the focus on just-right songs on their live albums. (Or check out how concise the songs on Wake of the Flood were, though they'd already been stretching them out live.) If true, they kind of lost control looking for that magic radio-friendly sound - they weren't being true to themselves - which helps explain why they skidded & stayed out of the studio for most of the '80s.

Anyway - I was thinking about the limitations of vinyl, and it seems to account for the lack of jams on their live albums.... As Jerry said, if you put jammin' tunes on, you get only two tracks a side (as on E72) - or even just one a side (like Live/Dead)! Filling up an album with songs might have seemed to give better value to record-buyers.
It may also be that the Dead didn't trust their jams to hold up well, since they were pretty critical of themselves.

It is ironic about all the vocal overdubs on the live albums - to the extent the live performances just become 'backing tracks'. I'd rather listen to any E72 show than that album... It is also ironic how the Dead stood at such a divide from their fans, who always wanted to hear "the real thing" rather than doctored-up compilations!

I'd forgotten that the E72 album was to help pay for the tour. The same must have been true for the planned Egypt album....didn't work that time!

The 5-cd '74 Movie Soundtrack is excellent, and I listen to it all the time. Basically nonstop jams all the way. The sound is still kind of dismal, but oh well....

Without a Net, I've heard a grand total of one time....just not my period. And I have many quarrels with the song selection....but at least it tries to represent the full range of a Dead show, and succeeds more than Dead Set did.

I agree their live shows improved markedly in Nov/Dec '80, for whatever reason. But I haven't listened to many of the shows from that year. You know, considering how they could stretch out the jams in '79 and '81, it must have been a band decision to have such concise shows in '80....trying to reach new Go to Heaven fans??

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Finster Baby Date: Mar 9, 2009 7:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did the Grateful Dead Like Their Live Albums?

Dang,Why you all beibg so cold to Dead Set??? LOL...seriously..I like it!! Alot of that may be for sentimental reasons, as it was really my first exposure to the band. I met a new friend in sophomore year of high school. He was the one that turned me onto the Dead. He had a few of their albums, Dead Set being our favorite among them. Ah to be young and dumb again....we had no concept at that time of live shows or tape trading or any of the scene surrounding the band. Kinda makes me wish I could go back and do it all over again!!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: drspark61 Date: Mar 9, 2009 8:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Did the Grateful Dead Like Their Live Albums?

Although I never cared much for the abbreviated, AM radio-style versions of the songs on Dead Set, I always thought the recording quality was outstanding. Back then, playing those LPs on a really good sound system was the closest I ever came to experiencing Grateful Dead concert sound outside of an actual concert.